Late on Friday night, a piece of big news shook the NBA. The Los Angeles Clippers acquired two superstars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, by free agency and trade, respectively.
The Clippers had to give up Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and several first-round picks to acquire George, but they were able to sign Leonard outright.
The Clippers already made the playoffs in a strong Western Conference without Leonard and George. Now, they should be much better off with two MVP candidates in the fold.
I’ve looked through some of the available bets on offer, with one of the most trusted USA sports betting websites, for the new-look Clippers team. Here are my idea of the best investments for the 2019-20 season.
Best Available Los Angeles Clippers Bets
Kawhi Leonard over 3.5 assists per game (-115 with BetOnline)
Leonard was absolutely fantastic in the postseason for the Toronto Raptors en route to leading them to an NBA championship. He gets a lot of credit for his scoring and defense, and rightfully so, but his playmaking ability really picked up in the second half of the postseason.
Kawhi averaged 4.3 assists per game in his final 18 postseason games despite already putting up an average of 30.4 points per game in that span. Sure, he played more minutes than usual, but you also need to realize the pace of the game was quite a bit slower in the playoffs, and he was going against great defenses every game
Leonard is constantly expanding his game, and I think he will focus more on passing this summer now that he has a healthier offseason in front of him. The Clippers have a team that plays pretty fast. Also, George, Landry Shamet, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams are strong spot-up shooters and Montrezl Harrell and Ivica Zubac will finish strong inside off passes from Leonard.
Kawhi Leonard over 6.5 rebounds per game (-115 with BetOnline)
Leonard is a better rebounder than his numbers suggest. His career high of 7.3 rebounds per game with the Toronto Raptors last season makes him seem like just a pretty good guy to have on the glass, but he’s actually elite in that area.
The Claw combines his enormous 7’3.75” wingspan, massive hands and great body strength to grab nearly every contested rebound that he tries to get. The reason his rebounding numbers have never been great is that he is usually very involved defending the perimeter and playing offense on the perimeter. His squads have usually elected to have their bigger players grab defensive rebounds.
This year with the Clippers, though, Leonard should play a lot more as a power forward. At the moment, Los Angeles has only two rotation big men: Montrezl Harrell and Ivica Zubac. The Clippers aren’t done making moves, but it’s likely that there will still be a lot of minutes available at the 4 spot during the regular season. When you consider that Harrell also isn’t a great rebounder, it’s likely that Leonard will play closer to the basket this season and grab closer to eight or even nine rebounds per game.
Clippers to win the NBA Championship (+300 with BetOnline)
I would advise against bets related to regular season success for the Clippers. The Western Conference is going to be ridiculously deep next season. Also, it’s very possible that Leonard and George go through an adjustment period with each other and the rest of the team. Also, Leonard (quad) and George (shoulder) both have some lingering injury problems that could cause the team to rest them in the regular season.
But in the playoffs? There’s no team I like better than these Clips. This squad is very similar to the one that won 48 games while relying on Lou Williams as its top scorer. Now, the squad is adding two players who are arguably both top-eight players in the league. Doc Rivers is still an excellent coach leading the team. The pieces on the roster seem to fit very well.
Odds of +300 don’t seem great for a team that isn’t proven together and doesn’t have great talent at point guard at center. However, in a league full of very good teams and no clear top dog, there’s a very clear lane for the Clippers to win the 2019-20 championship.